The West Block – Episode 1, Season 11 – National


Episode 1, Season 11

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Host: Eric Sorenson


Dominic LeBlanc, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister

Anne McLellan, Former Liberal Occasion Cupboard Minister

Lisa Raitt, Former Conservative Occasion Cupboard Minister

Tzeporah Berman, Worldwide Program Director 

Location: Ottawa, ON


Eric Sorensen: This week on The West Block: A brand new look cupboard for the COVID restoration period.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “As a unprecedented staff that has reinvigorated…”

Eric Sorensen: Local weather change, reconciliation, the financial system, amid provincial tensions.

Dominic LeBlanc, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister: “The premier determined to ask a non-binding query on a municipal election in Alberta.

Eric Sorensen: Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc joins us.

An bold agenda in one other minority authorities: former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan and former Conservative Cupboard Minister Lisa Raitt staff as much as plot a approach ahead.

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And, one environmentalist’s want record for the UN Local weather Summit.

It’s Sunday, October 31st, and that is The West Block.

Thanks for becoming a member of us. I’m Eric Sorensen. Mercedes Stephenson is away at this time.

There are 9 new faces siting across the prime minister’s cupboard desk after final week’s swearing in ceremony, however Justin Trudeau additionally made positive to maintain a few of his closest advisors in key roles, amongst them, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

So what are the marching orders for this new cupboard? Becoming a member of us now’s Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

Sir, we’ve had an election. The Canadians gave you again what you already had. However you’ve made some very huge modifications in cupboard: new faces, new roles. The intention have to be with that huge change to do one thing higher. What’s—what are you going to do higher? What are you able to do higher?

Dominic LeBlanc, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister: I believe, Eric, governments can all the time have a look at methods to do higher. We try this in our personal lives. Companies try this on a regular basis, so we’re all the time pondering of ways in which we will higher serve Canadians and that we will transfer ahead rapidly on the large points that matter to individuals. So, for instance, clearly the struggle in opposition to local weather change, international collaboration, working with worldwide companions was an enormous subject within the election. That clearly is a giant focus of our authorities’s work. Ending the struggle in opposition to COVID, in my conversations with the prime minister and in my function because the intergovernmental affairs minister, we nonetheless must work with provinces and territories to get the struggle in opposition to COVID behind us after which clearly to give attention to the weather of the financial system that may want consideration, will want work popping out of the pandemic. So these proceed to be big focuses of our authorities’s work and also you noticed an enthusiastic group simply final week prepared to begin work instantly.

Eric Sorensen: Let me ask you about a few particular cupboard ministers: Anita Anand in defence. Can she do what hasn’t been carried out until now what the prime minister himself referred to as was a “disaster of the tradition within the army”? Do you might have some excessive hopes that she will get one thing carried out that simply you actually have been spinning your wheels on until now?

Dominic LeBlanc, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister: I do. I believe she’s an excellent minister. She can be an excellent jurist. She was a College of Toronto regulation professor with particular expertise in governance points. So I believe that background shall be essential in transferring in a short time with the army justice system with former Supreme Court docket Justice Louise Arbour, who’s at the moment enterprise some work when it comes to what are the suitable programs. We actually share the frustration, Eric, of Canadians after we’ve seen current tales come to mild. We’ve mentioned from the start that individuals who serve in Canada’s Armed Forces, and definitely as we strategy Remembrance Day, it’s much more essential to recommit to making sure that the individuals who serve Canada on this extraordinary approach have a secure and respectful office, that survivors are heard and are valued by the senior officers within the army. I’ve each confidence that Madame Anand shall be a really, very efficient and really swift advocate when it comes to placing into place the mandatory modifications.

Eric Sorensen: You’ve had 5 international affairs ministers in six years, there actually hasn’t been a longtime presence or management from the highest in that division. Do you assume that Minister Joly can assist try this as a result of she’s not on the G20 this weekend and it appears to many prefer it only a figurehead place now the place the prime minister is the one which shall be out entrance in the case of international affairs?

Dominic LeBlanc, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister: Definitely the international affairs division has by no means been a figurehead place within the Authorities of Canada. It’s a basic establishment within the governance of the nation. It’s essential to Canadians when it comes to how our nation is seen on the earth and the way we will work collaboratively with allies like the US on financial points, on local weather change, on refugees. It’s additionally regular that the prime minister attend summits of leaders of presidency leaders or heads of state. The prime minister all the time performs, clearly a task in international affairs. Madame Joly has an infinite skillset, plenty of political expertise. I believe she’ll be an enthusiastic and efficient face for Canada on the earth. And I’ve each confidence that Canadians shall be very, very happy with the work that she will do for the Authorities of Canada and for Canada, globally.

Eric Sorensen: The federal government has determined to pause. It’s not interesting the choice, however pausing the method after the federal courtroom order to compensate Indigenous youngsters who have been faraway from their houses. So the enchantment is on maintain with the hope of reaching an settlement on the desk.

Dominic LeBlanc, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister: Effectively, our authorities has acknowledged from the start that Indigenous youngsters who have been harmed within the youngster welfare system deserve applicable compensation. And we’ve had a longstanding and we expect, constructive and productive dialog, when it comes to settling these claims and offering simply compensation to individuals who have been harmed—to Indigenous youngsters who have been harmed and confronted such horrible circumstances in previous years. We made a beneficiant and impressive settlement provide once more this week. These are constructive conversations which can be occurring at this very second, however we expect it’s additionally essential to remind Canadians that we’ve taken optimistic steps, together with collaborating with provincial authorities and altering Canadian laws to make sure that the very system that took Indigenous youngsters away from their communities, can’t exist going ahead and actually, the authority to guard Indigenous youngsters is correctly within the palms of Indigenous authorities the place it ought to all the time have been. And our effort shall be to make sure that this type of tragedy can by no means repeat itself going ahead, whereas on the identical time, acknowledging the duty for compensating justly and generously, the Indigenous youngsters that confronted such hurt through the years.

Eric Sorensen: You’ve exchanged barbs with the Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. You’ve doubled down with Steven Guilbeault in atmosphere and the earlier atmosphere minister is now in pure assets, which was once type of the advocate for the business. So you might have that form of message. On the identical time, Alberta is sounding very sad. How do you repair that?

Dominic LeBlanc, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister: Effectively clearly, we proceed to work with Alberta and Mr. Kenney’s authorities. Jason Kenney’s truly a buddy of mine. He and I’ve a cordial and optimistic and constructive ongoing dialogue. We predict that Canadians in each a part of the nation, together with in Alberta, need the federal government to take concerted, efficient motion, bold motion within the struggle in opposition to local weather change, however on the identical, acknowledge that that very work is important to making sure long-term sustainable jobs not solely within the useful resource sectors however proper throughout the nation. So, we don’t assume it’s an both or proposition. I believe Jonathan Wilkinson did a terrific job as minister of atmosphere and local weather change. He was good in fisheries earlier than that. He’ll be nice in pure assets. And Steven Guilbeault additionally involves the atmosphere portfolio with a really, very appreciable expertise in these points and a credibility on this points, however as Canadians get to know Mr. Guilbeault as I’ve in recent times, they’ll additionally see any person who understands that the long-term sustainable financial development of the nation is also married to our profitable struggle in opposition to local weather change.

Eric Sorensen: All proper. Dominic LeBlanc, thanks a lot for speaking to us at this time.

Dominic LeBlanc, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister: Eric, thanks for inviting me on this system. Have an exquisite day.

Eric Sorensen: Up subsequent, two former ministers who’ve sat on the cupboard desk: Liberal Anne McLellan and Conservative Lisa Raitt—unlikely companions discovering widespread floor on a approach ahead. What recommendation have they got for this cupboard and our nation?


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Eric Sorensen: From local weather change and COVID restoration, to the rising price of, nicely nearly all the pieces, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly minted cupboard faces huge challenges. Becoming a member of us to share their concepts for the way in which ahead, two cupboard veterans: former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister beneath Paul Martin, Anne McLellan; and former Conservative Cupboard Minister Lisa Raitt.

So that is, as one author put it, the 2 PMs who bought away. You already know one from every celebration. You’ve been working collectively on a Coalition for a Higher Future. That is 109 organizations: authorities, non-public sector, non-governmental, schooling. You need them to work collectively, to, you already know, form of in live performance with each other as an alternative of hubbing and spoking, having the federal government because the hub and easily spokes from all of those organizations. With all of this new expertise you might have, Anne McLellan, along with your earlier expertise in cupboard, what’s your recommendation proper now to the—to Justin Trudeau and his new cupboard?

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Anne McLellan, Former Liberal Occasion Cupboard Minister: Effectively I suppose, Eric, if I used to be focussing on the work that Lisa and I’ve been doing most not too long ago over these previous three months, it will be to give attention to financial development, which ends up in shared prosperity. And what I imply by that’s that we want sustainable, inclusive prosperity. And, you already know, financial development clearly is essential, however as Carolyn Wilkins mentioned this week, the previous Governor of the Financial institution of Canada, what we would like is the suitable financial development, and that implies that you are taking onboard the truth that there have been individuals who’ve been excluded from our financial alternative on this nation. It implies that you are taking onboard the truth that our financial system is in—at the start most likely—of a transition to web zero by 2050. However a lot of what this authorities in Ottawa and different governments throughout Canada want and need to accomplish will depend on sturdy, sustainable financial development.

Eric Sorensen: So Lisa Raitt, you come from a Conservative background, however you’re discovering issues that you simply share in widespread with Anne McLellan. I’m, you already know, I’m positive they might welcome you into the Liberal cupboard to broaden additional on how can we not simply get better from COVID however springboard into the longer term?

Lisa Raitt, Former Conservative Occasion Cupboard Minister: You might make sure. I’m not so positive, Eric. However what I’d advise, as Anne has mentioned, for all the cupboard ministers, even should you’re not in what’s historically regarded as an financial portfolio, keep in mind that it’s all concerning the financial system and financial development is definitely the way in which wherein we will guarantee our nation prospers. So it’s essential for them to consider it on a regular basis. And we’re not speaking about trying on the inside workings of the federal government and try to save cash and we’re not even speaking about how individuals ought to be slicing taxes or releasing on regulation. What we’re speaking about are the large image concepts that we have to have a sound plan on the right way to get to financial development that’s greater than the anemic 1 per cent, half a per cent that we’re at the moment experiencing up to now variety of years. And the opposite factor I’d additionally remind them that they’ve gone by way of two elections: 2015, 2019 and 2021—three elections, actually—with no actual dialogue about financial development and the way essential it’s and that they need to give attention to it.

Eric Sorensen: I need to discuss to you each about the truth that you have been girls in male dominated cupboards and now we’re seeing a cupboard with equal numbers and notably this time, with girls now in additional senior roles in cupboard. Anne, can that change the dynamic, like for problem-solving round a cupboard desk?

Anne McLellan, Former Liberal Occasion Cupboard Minister: Oh, I believe so, completely, Eric. Girls are usually—I truly would say are—extra collaborative when it comes to how they go about making choices. They, I believe, need to pay attention rigorously earlier than leaping to conclusions. They like to know the entire context of any drawback or subject with which they’re introduced and in order that I believe that really in the long term, and it might take only a tad longer to get there, however I believe in the long term it results in higher knowledgeable, higher calibrated public coverage after which after all, the problem of executing on the general public coverage. I believe typically, girls—girls do deliver a distinct perspective, usually a distinct approach of decision-making, and we can not overlook that the lived actuality and expertise of many ladies in public life, is totally different than that of their male counterparts.

Eric Sorensen: Lisa Raitt, I’d actually wish to get your view on that as nicely. I imply, you’ll have been in a Conservative cupboard. I don’t know the way totally different that may have been, however communicate to that—to the problem of like extra girls genuinely being round and collaborating such as you two are collaborating to attempt to discover new methods to make a distinction.

Lisa Raitt, Former Conservative Occasion Cupboard Minister: There’s no query that when you might have individuals round a desk that you’ve got issues in widespread with, that you simply’re going to are likely to need to discover settlement or discover some form of method to assist one another and pay attention rigorously, as Anne factors out, and collaborate as greatest you possibly can. However she nailed it as nicely when she identified that ladies undergo rather a lot—a reasonably totally different expertise when it comes to being a political determine than males do. That’s a bonding second for lots of ladies and consequently, there could also be some actually shut relationships round that cupboard desk that not solely will work collectively on a private foundation however will work collectively professionally as nicely. We’re all human on the finish of the day. We wish to work with the those who like us and that we like. So which may be one thing that’ll come into play as nicely.

Eric Sorensen: Anne McLellan, are there cupboard ministers you’re going to be keeping track of to see simply what sort of a distinction they make?

Anne McLellan, Former Liberal Occasion Cupboard Minister: Oh yeah, completely, Eric. I imply, we’ve three girls in three very senior cupboard portfolios. And the general public, all of you within the media, all people, I believe, shall be watching. You already know, I wish to make one level that I believe it’s unlucky in 2021 that we nonetheless give attention to the truth that girls are in three senior—three of essentially the most senior and perceived to be most essential portfolios. I want it wasn’t handled as distinctive for girls to be in these roles. I want we had come additional, sooner. However, having mentioned that, we’re lastly in a state of affairs the place you see girls not solely gender parity with cupboard however you see girls in essential positions. And sure I’ll be watching, however I’ll be watching from the attitude of realizing that they may do these jobs exceptionally nicely.

Eric Sorensen: We solely have a number of seconds left. Lisa Raitt final thought to you.

Lisa Raitt, Former Conservative Occasion Cupboard Minister: I’m going to be watching the ministers—the brand new ministers and plenty of them are junior when it comes to time inside authorities. I’m going to be watching those which have the regional financial improvement companies as a result of I’m very all in favour of financial development and I need to see whether or not or not placing a minister accountable for a particular a part of the nation goes to have us see higher circulation of financial development cash into these constituencies.

Eric Sorensen: Lisa Raitt, Anne McLellan, thanks very a lot for speaking to us at this time. It was nice.

Anne McLellan, Former Liberal Occasion Cupboard Minister: Thanks a lot.

Eric Sorensen: Nonetheless forward, a local weather change activist, Tzeporah Berman.

Tzeporah Berman, Worldwide Program Director: “Our governments are regulating emissions, however not the manufacturing of fossil fuels.”

Eric Sorensen: Berman’s Ted Discuss on local weather has attracted greater than 700 thousand views. We’ll communicate to her concerning the UN summit in Glasgow and her to-do record for this nation and its new atmosphere minister.


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Eric Sorensen: The UN Local weather Summit COP26 begins at this time in Glasgow. World leaders together with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will collect tomorrow. Canada has pledged to chop its greenhouse fuel emissions by 40-45 per cent by 2030, however local weather change activists say Ottawa should do extra to get there.

Tzeporah Berman is heading to Glasgow for COP26. She’s the worldwide program director of So Tzeporah, Canada has barely made a dent in its GHG emissions, but it surely has bold objectives. So at COP26, does Canada characterize a real inexperienced companion?

Tzeporah Berman, Worldwide Program Director: I believe Canada can characterize a real inexperienced companion. I believe we’ve the capability on this nation to handle these issues, however sadly proper now we do have the worst report within the G7. Our emissions have elevated greater than anybody else’s because the Paris Settlement. So if Canada’s going to get critical about addressing local weather change and constructing a clear financial system right here at dwelling, then we’ve to comply with the science and we’ve to acknowledge that we have to cease increasing oil and fuel, each manufacturing and emissions, and we have to make it possible for in our web zero pledges and within the firms that function in Canada and the banks, these web zero pledges embrace an finish to the enlargement of fossil gasoline investments. We now have to maneuver away now and we’ve to plan in order that no employees or their households are left behind.

Eric Sorensen: There are Canadians who shall be very fearful about that. What’s going to occur to our oil and fuel business beneath that state of affairs?

Tzeporah Berman, Worldwide Program Director: What it means for our oil and fuel business is similar factor it means for the business world wide. The actual fact is that we have to wind down manufacturing and emission of all oil, fuel and coal, and we have to cease enlargement now. That doesn’t imply we don’t use fossil fuels. We do and it doesn’t imply we received’t produce them sooner or later, however we’re going to provide much less. So what it means is that we’ve to plan in order that no employee and their household are left behind. But when we proceed to disregard that drawback, if we proceed to not plan, it is going to be harder and—and extra individuals will endure. So we have to have a look at financial diversification and—and we have to acknowledge that that is an business that’s going to must wind down within the subsequent—within the subsequent 10 to twenty years.

Eric Sorensen: Steven Guilbeault is our new atmosphere minister and when it comes to optics, that is very new. That is any person who’s a Greenpeace activist. He scaled the CN Tower to hold a banner 20 years in the past. What does he imply for Canada at this occasion and what do you count on from him? What’s your want record for him?

Tzeporah Berman, Worldwide Program Director: I hope what it means is that this authorities and this cupboard is critical about addressing the local weather emergency and that they may comply with the science and make sure that our insurance policies and our efforts, each handle the emergency and the science. So—so what which means is that we have to ramp up spending considerably on protecting Canadians secure. We have to be placing cash in the direction of planning for the fires and the floods and the warmth domes as a result of the science is displaying us that they may solely enhance proper now. These aren’t simple points, however Minister Guilbeault, whereas he has a repute of being a powerful local weather chief and definitely has unbelievable data of local weather coverage. He additionally has a repute of being honest and of being trustworthy and efficient. And so I’m excited to see what he’ll do together with his new place and I’m hoping that this exhibits that the Trudeau cupboard will take critical, the local weather emergency and the necessity to transfer rapidly away from fossil gasoline manufacturing and emissions.

Eric Sorensen: We solely have a number of seconds. You’ve talked about what it’s going to take through the years, however what do you need to see particularly popping out of this convention that may provide you with some optimism?

Tzeporah Berman, Worldwide Program Director: Effectively a few of the points which can be being mentioned at this convention which can be completely essential are whether or not or not we’re going to permit firms and our personal governments to make use of offsets as a loophole to proceed to permit fossil gasoline enlargement. We actually need to see Canada decide to not use offsets and to have a powerful place within the negotiations round Article 6 and to decide to assist the growing nations. In Paris, we dedicated—the nations world wide dedicated $100 billion a yr by 2020. We’re not on monitor to assist that and there are actually many nations that aren’t liable for the local weather state of affairs that we’re in who’re going to want assist as a way to handle their susceptible populations. So I’m hoping we see extra ambition. I’m hoping we see some specifics that imply that we’re getting critical about shifting our economies and shifting out of fossil fuels.

Eric Sorensen: Tzeporah Berman, thanks for becoming a member of us. Good luck in Glasgow.

And that’s our present for at this time. For The West Block, I’m Eric Sorensen. Thanks for watching.

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